Experience

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Vibration Energy Harvesting using Magnetostrictive Materials [2009-10]

Energy harvesting is an appealing technology in the structural health monitoring field. Instead of introducing costly additional power sources and wiring when adding a sensor platform, the sensors can be self sustaining. 



Thin magnetostrictive (MsM) beams will induce a magnetic flux when strained, which can then be transformed into electric current to be stored in a battery. The best source of strain is from ambient vibrations; however, many vibration energy harvesting devices only work at one resonant vibration frequency. 



By forcing the MsM beam to buckle, the frequency envelope at which the device is effective is widened to include frequencies above and below the natural frequency. This is ideal since the ambient vibrations do not exist at one single frequency.